CleanAtlantic at the Atlantic Area events
Atlantic Area Annual Event
On the 22nd October, the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme organised its annual event “Blue innovation: main engine for sustainable growth in the Atlantic Area”, in Vigo, Spain. CleanAtlantic was invited to participate in the exhibition of Atlantic Area projects to showcase the project objectives and activities. With the aim of raising awareness on the marine litter environmental threat, the CleanAtlantic stand displayed two objects:
- A marine litter transparent box: The box contained a selection of marine litter items found in the Atlantic Area seas and beaches. Box faces showed cooperation activities that CleanAtlantic partners are carrying out to fight marine litter: 1) mapping knowledge and stakeholders, 2) monitoring and data management, 3) mapping and modelling of marine litter, 4) waste management, F4L, ALDFG removal and beach clean-up protocols and 5) awareness raising. It also shows how this work contributes to international and European initiatives.
- A sand box: the second object consisted on a plastic box filled with beach sand in which the top-ten single use plastic items were buried. Participants were invited to look for plastic items within the sand and, once they found one, to rank it within the top-ten list of single use plastic items found in the marine environment. They were also asked to guess what their degradation time would be in the sea, origin, etc.
Discussion about these topics helped raising awareness on participants about the impact of these items in the marine environment and also to inform about the activities the project is carrying out to tackle marine litter.
5th Atlantic Stakeholders Platform Conference (ASPC)
The ASPC took place on the 23rd and the 24th October, CleanAtlantic showcased its activities in the projects exhibition stand and raised awareness on the marine litter environmental threat.
On the 24th October CleanAtlantic, in collaboration with OceanWise, Litterdrone, Ocean Cleanup, and MLStyle projects, organised the workshop: “Marine litter: from a global environmental threat to a job creation driver”. The introductory session consisted on presentations of these projects who showed how their work addressed marine litter challenges such as monitoring, mapping of hotspots, removal, recycling & circular economy and stakeholder involvement. This session was followed by a debate with focused around three main topics:
- Monitoring, modelling and hotspot mapping
- Marine litter removal
- Circular economy
Through the Workshop discussion, a number of gaps and challenges in the areas above that may inspire new collaborative initiatives were identified. It was also highlighted the strong need to join and make the best use of private and public actors and turn these forces into an efficient multi stakeholder involvement that tackles the environmental problems turning them into opportunities of blue growth and job creation.